The Court of Appeal has reserved its decision in a challenge brought by convict Jason Kevin Marshall.
Back in April 2015 Marshall, of Olive Drive, Crane, St Philip was found guilty of intentionally wounding and robbing Starrio Elcock of a gold chain and pendant worth $2 500, on December 29, 2007.
Trial judge Justice Margaret Reifer sentenced him to 10 years for wounding and seven years on the second count.
Today, however, Marshall appeared before a three judge panel – Chief Justice Sir Marston Gibson and Justices of Appeal William Chandler and Rejendra Narine – and appealed the sentences as well as the verdict in his matters on six grounds.
Representing him in the No.1 Supreme Court were attorneys-at-law Safiya Moore and Kyle Walkes.
Among the grounds put forward Moore argued that the trial judge erred in law when she failed to uphold a no case submission at the end of the Crown’s case. She submitted that the evidence led in the case which was predominately based on the identification parade was “tenuous” as the complainant was not paying the then accused ‘any mind’.
“The only evidence on which he is convicted is the identification evidence,” Moore said as she further submitted that the judge did not go “far enough” when she gave her summation in the matter especially in a case solely relying on identification evidence.
“The identification is the major issue in this appeal,” she said.
The appellant’s attorney also claimed that the judge was “not balanced” in her summation of the case and as such the verdict of the jury was unsafe and unsatisfactory and the sentence “excessive”.
However, in reply, Director of Public Prosecutions Donna Babb-Agard, QC, urged the court to “uphold the sentences of the trail judge on this matter” as the “verdict was safe and satisfactory”.
The Queen’s Counsel who was the prosecutor in the case submitted that her side did not believe the sentence was excessive given that the aggravating features far outweighed the mitigating factors of the case. She put forward that the sole mitigating feature in the case was Marshall’s youth while the aggravating factors included, the use of a firearm; the incident was a crime of opportunity; the crime was premeditated; his prior convictions; his “apparent” lack of remorse and the fact that the Elcock still suffers from the injury.
She then went on to state that wounding with intent carried a maximum sentence of life imprisonment while robbery attracted a maximum sentence of 15 years.
“We do not find that the sentences were excessive in light of the appellant’s antecedents,” the DPP added.
On the challenge pertaining to the lack of a balanced summation, Babb-Agard stated: “We found no error in the way the judge did the summation.
“The accused was given a fair trial . . . nothing that showed any bias towards the Crown’s case,” she to the Court of Appeal panel.
Although she conceded that the identification parade on which Elcock singled out Marshall was conducted some five weeks after the incident, she contended, “he pretty much immediately identified him . . . the passage [of time] did not cloud his memory. The judge dealt with all of this evidence fairly.”
The DPP added: “The judge was fair in her summation in recapping both the evidence for the Crown and the defence.”
During the trial, which took place four years ago, Elcock recalled that he was at a shop in Black Rock waiting to buy food when he moved away from the other patrons after receiving a phone call.
Marshall passed him and went on, so he thought that Marshall was not bothering to wait for a meal. Soon after, while he was still on the cellular phone, he turned to see Marshall pointing a gun at him and demanding that he hand over his chain and pendant.
Elcock said he froze during the incident, all the while looking at Marshall, who had his head covered but not his face.
As he was about to remove the chain from his neck, Elcock said Marshall shot him in his leg and he fell, only later realising from the pain that the bullet had gone through one leg and out through the other.